Hormonal Changes May be to Blame for Varicose Veins, Jacksonville Specialist Says

Female family.
Puberty, pregnancy and aging all can contribute to spider veins and varicose veins. Exercise and good nutrition throughout all stages of a woman’s life can help ward off or improve venous conditions.

Many factors can lead to venous disease

Many lifestyle, occupational and health-related factors can lead to varicose and spider veins, Jacksonville vein specialist Dr. James St. George says. But for women in particular, hormones often are the major culprits. Hormonal changes that occur during puberty, pregnancy and menopause affect the amount of blood in the body and its flow through the veins.

Puberty and vein disease

Puberty causes shifts in hormone levels, and some hormones can weaken the strength of the walls of veins. Weakened vein walls can bulge under the pressure of flowing blood, leading to spider veins and varicose veins. Adopting healthy nutrition and exercise habits can help keep them at a minimum throughout the teen and young adult years.

Pregnancy and vein disease

Pregnancy is a top cause of spider and varicose veins. Pregnancy results in a large increase in circulating hormones. Pregnancy causes a significant increase in the amount of blood in the body, which can cause veins to enlarge. An expectant mother’s growing uterus also puts pressure on the veins, forcing them to work harder to pump blood upwards to the heart. The good news is that varicose veins typically improve within 3 months after delivery, though they can return and worsen with each additional pregnancy.

The effects of hormone treatments

Taking estrogen, progesterone and birth control pills also can alter hormonal and blood levels, and further weaken vein walls, leading to the development of spider veins and varicose veins. As you age, continue healthy exercise and nutrition habits, including boosting your fiber intake, elevate your legs six to 12 inches at bedtime and consider natural healthcare alternatives such as massage and dietary supplements to help.

If you have stubborn varicose veins or spider veins, Jacksonville’s St. Johns Vein Center offers multiple treatment options. Call 904-402-VEIN (8346) to schedule a consultation today.

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